Brave Rose Pink
Autumn was passing, and Jack Frost was frightening all the flowers away. Even the seeds could not bear to stay above the ground, but crept underneath out of the cold. The gnomes gathered them and carried them away to Mother Earth’s warm seed beds. They tucked them in to wait for spring.
But a sweet-pea seed refused to come down. “No,” she said, “I do not wish to lie in bed all the winter. I wish to stay here and grow. I am already sprouting, and I intend to stay.” She would not be moved.
The gnomes went to Mother Earth. “There is a sweet-pea above the ground, Rose-Pink by name, who refuses to come below,” they said. “What shall we do with her?”
“Tell her that Jack Frost will nip her with his cruel fingers if she stays there,” said Mother Earth.
The gnomes took the message to Rose-Pink.
“I am strong and hardy, and will laugh at Jack Frost,” said Rose-Pink.
“Tell her the Storm King will beat her down with his great winds, and break her back,” said Mother Earth.
They went again to Rose-Pink.
“I will grow tendrils with which to hold tightly to the fence, so that the great winds cannot tear me down.”
“Tell her that the Snow Queen will bury her in her cold white snowflakes,” said Mother Earth.
“I will not die, but will push my head through the cold white snowflakes,” she said to the gnomes.
“Then leave her alone,” said Mother Earth, “She is brave, and perhaps her courage will carry her safely through the winter. If it does her reward will come in the spring.”
So Rose-Pink was left alone, and went on growing quietly by the fence, taking advantage of every little bit of sunshine that came her way.
Jack Frost nipped her with his cruel fingers but she only laughed at him.
The Storm King tried to beat her down with his great winds, but she clung to the fence with her little tendrils.
The Snow Queen came. She buried Rose-Pink in her cold white snow-flakes, but she pushed her head through and lived on.
At last the winter passed, and the soft spring air blew over the garden. The gnomes woke the seeds from their winter sleep.
“Let’s see what has happened to Rose-Pink,” they said.
“I am alive and well, very happy,” sang Rose-Pink from half-way up the fence.
She grew fast now and soon reached the top of the fence. Then came her reward, for while the other sweet-peas were only half-grown, her little buds came and her flowers opened out. Such glorious flowers they were, flushed like the sun-rise sky. Rose-Pink sang for joy, and breathed out scented happiness on every breeze.
“You have come long before your sisters,” said the Bees, “Nothing in the entire garden is as sweet and beautiful as you.”